Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

September, 2013 Archive

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September 30, 2013 • Gear Bits

TrackingPoint XS2 Unboxing Goodness

I have been following the TrackingPoint smart rifle system and their releases. The mixture of technology and amazing weapon technology is mind-blowing to me. TrackingPoint has released an unboxing video of the XS2 Smart Rifle. The rifle itself is amazing in its own right, but it even comes complete with an iPad mini. Check out …

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163

September 30, 2013 • Gear Bits

What’s Round, Covered In Wool, and Promises Awesome Sound? The Brand New Libratone Loop

I loved the Libratone Zipp I reviewed, and Elana still uses it daily. Now Libratone is introducing the Loop. This $499.95 wireless speaker packs AirPlay, DNLA, and Libratone’s PlayDirect when WiFi isn’t available. Set on the floor, a table, or hung on the wall it promises a great look and sound great. Read about it. …

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236

September 30, 2013 • Reviews

GemShell for iPhone 5C Offers Protection That Won’t Hide Your Phone

Speck’s GemShell for iPhone 5C is a “Crystal-clear, protective iPhone 5C case that shows off the brilliant design of your iPhone”. This case is less than $30, offers good drop and scratch protection, and lets the color of the iPhone 5C shine through. If you want protection that doesn’t hide your phone this case may …

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157

September 30, 2013 • News

Why the LA Schools iPad Fiasco Was Self-Inflicted

iPads are cropping up everywhere, from homes to work and even in school settings. But can an iPad truly be secured to the satisfaction of a conscientious IT department? One expert says no, and a high-profile example may prove him correct. The city of Los Angeles has been planning to roll out iPads to their …

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172

September 30, 2013 • Reviews

Gorilla Band Will Have Your Child Swinging from the Vines

Gorilla Band is for kids. Completely, unapologetically for kids. Like my 5-year old. Who adores this app. Gorilla Band, by the folks at Wasabi (who provided us with a copy to review), is an interactive children’s book for iOS and Android devices. The main storyline, aimed at children between the ages of 2 and 7, is …

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219

September 29, 2013 • Editorials

Does It Bother You That the NSA Is Probably Tracking Your Social Connections?

Online privacy is an illusion; anything you wouldn’t want your boss, friends, relatives, present or future significant others (or anyone else important to you) to see should never be posted, texted, emailed, tweeted, or liked. And now it appears that our own government is the party most interested in our social connections and interactions. How bothered …

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215

September 29, 2013 • Reviews

ZAGGsparq 3100 Review – Charge Devices at Home and On the Go

There are some mobile accessories that are no-brainers, belonging in any gadget bag. The ZAGGsparq’s 3100 is close to being one of them; the only caveat being its price at just under $70. The ZAGGsparq’s 3100 replaces your wall adapter, but it also doubles as a portable backup battery; it’s one device that serves two important functions. …

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143

September 29, 2013 • Gear Bits

Clean Up Your Desktop with Dropbox 2.4’s “Save Screenshot” Feature

I take a lot of screenshots when writing Gear Diary posts. Historically they have ben a disorganized mess that increasingly cluttered my desktop. Thankfully, Dropbox 2.4 offers a new feature that automatically saves screenshots to one’s Dropbox folder. That neatly puts all my screenshots in a single place and makes sharing them easier than ever. …

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170

September 28, 2013 • Gaming, Reviews

Cognition Episode 3 The Oracle Review – The Best Of This Chilling Series Yet!

After the first Cognition episode I praised the game but complained about the accents; the second episode had me spouting high praise for the game while still noting an issue with accents. But after completing the third episode all I can say is WHO CARES about the accents, this series is so good I just …

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September 28, 2013 • Reviews

Lowepro Urban Reporter 150- Tablet-Loving Photographers Rejoice!

Lowepro just announced there new line of Urban Reporter Camera Messenger bags. The line includes the Urban Reporter 150, Urban Reporter 250 and the Urban Reporter 350 and prices range from $119.99 to $159.99. The Urban Reporter 150 is the perfect bag for the photographer who wants to grab a tablet and travel light. Check …

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87

September 28, 2013 • Gear Bits

Own a Smartphone? Order a Wet Smartphone Emergency Kit NOW!

If you own a smartphone, then you NEED one of these. The DRY-ALL Wet Smartphone Emergency Kit saved Elana’s iPhone 4S when it went into the sink. Now it’s doing the same for her iPhone 5C. (Or at least we hope it is.) Smartphones cost hundreds of dollars to replace, and that makes keeping one …

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221

September 28, 2013 • Music Diary, Reviews

The Sachal Studios Orchestra – ‘Jazz and All That: In Memory of Dave Brubeck’ CD Review

Tribute albums always make me cringe, because I have heard way too many that either feel indulgent or like a cash-in. But more and more I am hearing tributes that are smart and thoughtful and pay real tribute to great artists. ‘Jazz and All That’ is such a tribute, going far beyond just being a …

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231

September 27, 2013 • Gaming

Xbox From the Cloud? Microsoft is Working on it

“The cloud” is a popular concept.  We have terabytes upon terabytes of data stored in “the cloud,” which is really just a data farm of servers in the middle of nowhere.  It’s a great way to keep personal files available wherever you are.  What if you could stream Xbox games from the cloud?  Word is, …

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521

September 27, 2013 • Reviews

Lowepro Urban Reporter 250 Camera Messenger – For the Street-Smart Photographer

When Lowepro told me they had a brand new line of camera bags on the way, I was excited. The new line — the Lowepro Urban Reporter Camera Messenger Bags — consist of the Urban Reporter 150, 250, and 350. Priced from $119.99 to $159.99, they are a great option for someone looking to carry …

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68

September 27, 2013 • News

PhotoPresenter Is Airplay Mirroring That Leaves YOU In Control of the Content!

My iPhone photo library is a random mix of pictures for work, home, Gear Diary and so on. When I am showing things to colleagues, I really don’t need to skip past silly pictures of my kids dressed up for ‘Spirit Week’ or a screenshot from the latest G5 game. Enter PhotoPresenter, keeping me in …

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110

September 27, 2013 • Crowdfunding

Padcaster Launches iPad Mini Kickstarter Campaign Releases Padcaster 2.0!

The original Padcaster demonstrated once again that dismissing the iPad as a media creation device is wrong-headed – it allowed iPad owners to attach their tablet to a tripod and then use lights, lenses, external microphones and more. Now they have launched a new Kickstarter to help fund the creation of an iPad Mini version! …

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323

September 27, 2013 • News

Check Out Breathometer On Shark Tank Tonight (9/27)!

We can debate whether it’s a good idea to base a decision about driving on a smartphone app and accessory, it’s better than just saying ‘I feel fine’ and getting behind the wheel. Breathometer is a device that plugs into your smartphone and measures your blood alcohol concentration quickly and easily. And the product will …

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256

September 27, 2013 • Gaming, Reviews

Grand Theft Auto V Review on PlayStation 3

Grand Theft Auto V continues improvement in open world environments where crime is king and characters expand with a three main character scenario that allows character to switch among them. Rockstar Games expands existing gameplay into show-stopping events with more role-playing opportunities as main and supporting characters cross paths while players can take main routes …

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177

September 27, 2013 • Gaming, Reviews

Avadon 2 Reminds Me of Bop-It 2; Do It The Same … but BETTER!

While my full review will have to wait for the release in November, I have been playing the preview of Avadon 2 from Spiderweb Software on the Mac, and now that the window has opened to release public preview impressions … I can tell you I am impressed. Everything good about Avadon remains good, and …

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148

September 27, 2013 • Gear Bits

Now That Was Fast- iOS 7 Updated… Again

Apple has been getting pretty bashed over the fact that their TouchID security on the iPhone 5S has already been by-passed. It is enough of an issue that some Apple employees have clearly been pulling all-nighters. iOS 7.0.2 adds security back to the phone… for the next five minutes. Plus it lets you use Greek …

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September 27, 2013 • News

Apple Quietly Innovates with Updated iMacs

We get so used to Apple introducing products with over-the-top hype and fanfare, so it is always a refreshing surprise when we discover that Apple has … um, refreshed one of its product lines. Yesterday Apple released an update to the iMac line, with upgraded processors, new graphics, next generation Wi-Fi and faster PCIe flash …

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